I’ve been thinking lately about the phrase “everything in moderation”. I’ve been trying to make healthier choices and reading random articles about nutrition and exercise. Like most things, there are people on both sides of this moderation issue saying you can eat almost anything, using limits, while others say no, only feed yourself healthy foods. I extended this idea into my year off with my adventures: was it better to take a number of smaller trips in succession or should I have taken one large trip and really immerse myself in the experience?
i did decide to take smaller trips more frequently than plan one large trip. Even though I had to deal with planning and stress, details and pricing, decisions and supervision, I felt that this year was meant for “the more the merrier”. I felt that many small victories were going to be good for me overall. That different experiences meant for better growth for me. I thought that maybe putting all my eggs in one basket was not going to give me the opportunity I needed in order to grow. Yes, one trip would have given me a chance to learn, understand, get connected and fully immerse myself. However, that only one trip might not give me a chance to learn from mistakes, understand how to make changes, or feel the success of it again.
Again, I am using my experiences this year in a way I want to ensure I practice in my classroom. I never want to enforce an “all or nothing” stakes in my class. Was my year off “project based learning”? (I chose a destination I wanted and worked through the steps and then evaluated my findings). I already use ideas that need to built upon in the class. We open and close many assignments all semester. I want students to have plenty of opportunities to grow, change, learn from mistakes, but still continue to move forward.
There are many steps to growing and changing, I went on some trips that I know I would do differently and that’s the point. Will every student like every novel, story, unit, assignment? No, of course not. However, if they learn different approaches, find out what they do like, learn a new way of doing something, I’m happy. The key thinking I have is that they learned. Something. Life skill, knowledge, themselves, reaction, cooperation.
So, everything in moderation. Try new things. Maybe start small and work your way up. Try fun stuff, challenging stuff, never tried this before stuff, I know this will work stuff. I’ve really enjoyed the opportunity to try; and because I did lots of small things, I get to improve and always look forward to the next adventure that will shake things up.